[Image Description: Background is several triangles in a circle like a pie alternating from true red, scarlet and black. A robin is sitting on his perch looking to the right.
Top Text: “CUSTOMERS DO NOT UNDERSTAND”
Bottom Text: “WHAT AN EVEN EXCHANGE IS”]
The store I work for has a policy of only doing even exchanges (as in the customer handing the robin the item they don’t want and walking out the store with the item they do want and not having to process it through the register) with identical items (same SKU number) in the event they’re damaged or defective or something similar. Because really, if you think about it, that’s the only condition for a truly “even” exchange: exact same item, exact same price, inventory numbers end up exactly the same afterwards.
If the customer wants to exchange the item for a different one with a different SKU number, even if it’s a different style of the same item by the same brand and looks practically the same except for the color or design or whatever, they have to go to the register to return the item they don’t want and purchase the item they do want. Because a) the items might be different prices (Why virtually identical items sometimes end up being different prices I don’t know, but we have to deal with it.) and whether it’s the store or the customer, somebody’s getting screwed out of some money and b) our inventory’s going to be off unless the transaction is processed through the register.
I guess a lot of customers just think they can hand the cashier whatever item it is they don’t and waltz out the door with whatever other item they choose, regardless of whether it’s the same price or even remotely the same kind of item since I get a bizarrely large number of unhappy people that practically throw a tantrum when you inform them that no, you cannot just hand me this pack of elephant stickers and leave with a pack of giraffe stickers made by a different brand without waiting for a minute at the register to return the elephant stickers and purchase the giraffe stickers (Which we can do in the same transaction! Quicker! More convenient!). You might even have to break out your wallet if it turns out those giraffe stickers cost a little more than the elephant stickers *LE GASP*. And for some reason, nobody seems really that excited about getting some money back in the event that the giraffe stickers they’re purchasing would be less expensive than the elephant stickers they’re returning. (What the hell, dude? YOU’RE GETTING MONEY BACK. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO GET SCREWED OUT OF MONEY YOU’RE ENTITLED TO?)
I had one particularly pleasant customer inform me in a snotty voice that, “This is just so inconvenient.” and “I guess I won’t ever shop here again.” and told me, “You know, you’re costing your store a lot of sales with this.” as though I had any control over store policy. She stomped off in a huff when I informed her that our return procedures are corporate policy and I had to follow them.
Do other stores have different policies regarding even exchanges? Is this why I’m seeing so many people get so upset over having to process an exchange of different items through the register?